This past weekend, my daughter and I attended a writer’s retreat at God’s Whisper Farm.
Located in Radiant, Virginia, the home of Andi and Phillip and their family of dogs, cats, goats and chickens, is a place where one finds peace and quiet, laughter and wisdom, a place to hear God’s whisper.
After Andi showed us to our room upstairs in the old farm house, we took a brief tour of the farm.
We enjoyed a healthy dinner and read some of our work around the campfire. That’s when I discovered fireflies! An abundance of fireflies blinking on and off around the farmhouse! I took a video with my phone. Maybe some day, I’ll figure out how to load my phone videos to this blog. For now, just know that fireflies are alive and well at God’s Whisper Farm, where I did not notice any mosquitoes.
On Saturday morning, after a walking meditation led by Kelly Chripczuk, Andi read to us from The Mindful Writer, then we worked on writing exercises to help us explore what we need to let go of, what gets in the way of our writing, and what we love about writing.
On Saturday afternoon, we each workshopped a piece of writing and received helpful feedback from the group. Then Andi, author of The Slaves Have Names, and author Shawn Smucker, shared their knowledge and experience on writing and publishing.
After dinner, my daughter and I visited the neighboring pasture where the cows watched us with curiosity, from a distance.
We looked for the deer we saw on the hilltop Friday evening. This time, I was ready with my zoom lens, but the deer must’ve had other plans for Saturday night.
Later, we rejoined the group around the fire in the field and listened to Shawn read the first chapter of his book: The Day The Angels Fell.
On the last day of the retreat, we talked about making time for our writing and how important this is for our well being. Shawn passed along a question asked by the rector of his church:
“Could it be that God delights in the things that bring us happiness?”
I come home from this retreat with gratitude for the encouragement and affirmation I received, with a new sense of excitement and direction for my work, preparing me to make a leap of faith, with confidence that God’s whisper is leading me on a path of creativity and freedom. I believe it is a path that will delight the Creator who ignited this creative spark in me many years ago, knowing it would come alive when the time was right.
All photos on this post were taken by JoAnne Silvia at God’s Whisper Farm.